Randy Moss Says His Time With 49ers Is Over

Wide receiver Randy Moss said his time with the San Francisco 49ers has come to an end.“Wished we could’ve finished the job!! Thanks for the opportunity an good luck in the future 9ers,” Moss tweeted Saturday evening.There was no specific reason of given for why the 49ers did not wish to retain the services of the future Hall of Famer, but comments made by Moss before the Super Bowl may have added to the organizations decision to go their separate ways.Moss said then that he was dissatisfied with his role on the team.“I don’t like my role. I don’t,” Moss said. “I like to be out there playing football.”San Francisco general manager Trent Baalke gave a slight hint during the NFL Combine that the team had already reached a conclusion about Moss not returning to the team for the 2013 season.“We’re certainly happy that he was in [in San Francisco],” Baalke responded when he was asked about Moss’ future with the team. “Is he going to return this? I don’t know that yet.”Apparently, the 36-year-old Moss, who signed a one-year deal with the 49ers last March after returning from a one-year retirement, received word that he will not be back.Moss played in all 16 games and 28 receptions for 434 yards and three touchdowns in the regular season, making two starts. In the 49ers Super Bowl loss to the Ravens, he caught two passes for 41 yards.Despite Moss and the San Francisco parting ways, he told some of his 49ers teammates that he still can play at a high level, according to CBSSports.com.Moss had become a fixture in the 49ers locker room, even for starting quarterback Colin Kaepernick.“He was great to me,” Kaapernick said in an interview with the NFL Network on Feb. 28. “He made sure I knew what the defense was doing. He was someone that helped me a great deal and I hope he’s back with us.”Now that it is clear that Moss will not return, he will hit the free agent market on March 12, with the hopes of finding a suitor.Moss will be looking to add to his 982 catches for 15,292 yards and 156 touchdowns, but hopefully with a Super Bowl contender. read more

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The Mets Pitching Staff Went From Great To Garbage In The Blink

To say it’s been a challenging season in Queens would be an understatement. Originally slated to contend for the NL East crown, the 2017 New York Mets currently sit in a tie for third place, 7 games below .500 and a whopping 11 games back of the first-place Washington Nationals. The team has been accompanied by a near-constant stream of off-the-field controversies, and its playoff chances are rapidly approaching zero. Even the club’s jolly anthropomorphized baseball has turned belligerent.At the core of New York’s on-field frustrations has been the performance of its pitching staff, which not so long ago was gracing Sports Illustrated covers and inspiring meditations about the ideal way to build a modern baseball team. The fireballing days of Noah Syndergaard — who hit the disabled list with a torn muscle in early May — and cohorts are a distant memory, and those stars have been replaced by fill-ins who barely register on the radar gun and a beleaguered bullpen asked to shoulder a historic workload. (In their latest outing, the Mets burned through five pitchers — a normal amount by the team’s recent standards — just to yield 11 runs against the Pirates.)Just how much of a pitching drop-off have the Mets endured this year? Last season, New York led all clubs in the wins above replacement (WAR)1I’m averaging together the versions of this stat found at Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs.com. it received from its pitchers, with the 39th-best tally any team had in a season since 1901. This season, they rank sixth to last in baseball in pitching WAR, putting them on pace for the team’s worst showing on the mound since 1996. On a per-162-game basis, that makes for the fifth-biggest year-to-year decline by any MLB pitching staff since 1901: YEARTEAMSEASONPREVIOUS SEASONDIFFERENCE 41915Athletics-4.713.9-18.6 82000Astros9.024.3-15.4 71997Padres6.522.2-15.7 Some of the teams ahead of the Mets on that list had their excuses: The 2004 Diamondbacks traded Curt Schilling to the Red Sox over the previous offseason, and the 1998 Marlins engaged in one of the most notorious talent dumps in baseball history.The Mets made no such trades. The rotation’s lone offseason departure was 44-year-old Bartolo Colon, a loss that seemed more than mitigated by the late-season emergence of Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo, plus the return of a healthy Zack Wheeler. If anything, the team appeared to have more pitching than it knew what to do with. Even after adjusting for the inevitability of injuries, it seemed unthinkable back in spring training that New York’s pitching would be only a tad better than that of, say, the ghastly Cincinnati Reds.But the notion of the Mets having “too much pitching” sounds absurd in hindsight. After injuries to Syndergaard, Lugo, Steven Matz and closer Jeurys Familia,2Matz and Lugo haven’t pitched a single game this season. to go with an underperforming campaign by Matt Harvey, the Mets are on track to get about 13 fewer WAR from their staff this season than what was conservatively expected in spring training. (Even after accounting for what has been a surprisingly decent offense, that would make this the sixth-most-disappointing season in Mets history in terms of actual team WAR delivered compared to preseason expectations, and the worst in that department since 2003.3Interestingly, the statistical list of New York’s most disappointing seasons — 1972, then 1992, 2003, 1991, 1977 and 2017 — matches up very well with this subjective list generated by celebrated Mets blogger Jason Fry.)For a team predicated on great pitching and just enough hitting to get by, it’s hard to win when the former ends up being worse than the latter. And although the Mets’ numbers could improve when they get some of their injured pitchers back, it probably won’t be enough to save the team’s fortunes this season.The extent to which any of this was preventable — and, if it was, who should be blamed for it — will be debated for years. The team’s training staff is a popular target, but my colleague Rob Arthur found that although the Mets have had more than their share of ailments, they’re hardly the league’s most snakebit team on the injury front. It’s even worth wondering, as New York Magazine’s Will Leitch does here, whether the DL was the inevitable destination for a group of hurlers built specifically to throw the ball just about as hard as any staff ever has. Either way, they always say that young pitchers will break your heart — and these Mets couldn’t embody that axiom more if they tried. Sources: Baseball-Reference.com, Fangraphs.com, chadwick-bureau.com 11968Reds6.827.2-20.4 62012Phillies16.532.7-16.2 101982Twins0.315.0-14.8 91957Indians10.225.3-15.1 Few pitching staffs have ever collapsed like the 2017 Mets PITCHING WAR PER 162 GAMES 22004Diamondbacks8.226.9-18.7 31998Marlins-2.516.1-18.7 52017Mets6.224.6-18.3 read more

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Field hockey Ohio State begins weekend of nonconference play victorious against the

OSU sophomore midfield Morgan Kile (8) carries the ball for the on Oct. 2 against Maryland at Buckeye Varsity Field. Credit: Lantern file photoOhio State field hockey welcomed the Kent State Golden Flashes to Columbus, which had a couple flashes of its own at game time, Friday. The match scheduled for 3:30 p.m. was delayed by an hour due to multiple sightings of lightning in the area. However, in the late stages of the game, the Buckeye defense stayed grounded.OSU was able to hold off the Kent State Golden Flashes in the final minutes of a closely contested match; finishing on top, 3-2.Since beginning its run in Big Ten play this season, OSU (4-7, 0-3) had lost four straight matches before its match against Kent State. The Buckeyes came into the game knowing they had something to prove.The match did not start out in OSU’s favor, as Kent State pulled out three shots on goal within the first seven minutes of game play. That quickly changed after freshman midfielder Esther Clotet Alsina and junior midfielder Maddy Humphrey tag-teamed together on a breakaway goal.For Humphrey, that goal marked her team-leading eighth goal of the season.Kent State continued to put the pressure on OSU with a total of nine shots in the first half. This was largely due to to the four penalty corners given up by the Buckeyes. However, junior goalkeeper Liz Tamburro welcomed the challenge and kept a zero on the board through one half. Tamburro finished the half with five saves before adding four more in the second. For the second time in the last three games, she made nine or more saves.After the second half commenced, the dynamic duo of Clotet Alsina and Humphrey was back at it again; but this time with the roles reversed. Humphrey assisted Clotet Alsina with a close range score against senior goalkeeper Andrea Rinehart.Clotet Alsina now has one point in six of 11 games and has multiple points in five matches.Sophomore Irene Fritschy earned her first career goal with the Buckeyes with 17:20 remaining in the contest. Her goal pushed the lead to 3-0.However, Kent State would not go away quietly in the final moments of the game. After nine penalty corners, junior midfielder Silvia Figa Malgosa gave the Golden Flashes their first point of the night with 6:49 still on the clock.Kent State put another point on the board with only 2:49; closing OSU’s lead to only one. But as the clock ran out, the Buckeyes emerged victorious and broke their losing streak. OSU has now won five of the last six meetings against Kent State. The Buckeyes finish their non-conference break against Ball State (4-6) on Monday. OSU has not lost to the Cardinals since 2007 and have won 15 of the last 17 contests.OSU is set to travel to Schumann Stadium to face the Cardinals at 3 p.m. read more

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Cameron Heyward cant sneak and see where hell be selected in the

There are several Ohio State Buckeyes who have a chance to be drafted in the 2011 NFL draft — but, realistically, only one can expect to be drafted in the first round tonight: Cameron Heyward. Because of last year’s format change, the draft will take place over three days, with the first round set to begin at 8 p.m., the second and third rounds Friday and the remaining rounds Saturday. This year’s draft takes place during a complicated legal battle between the NFL Players Association and the NFL owners, in which the future of the NFL is still in question. While the U.S. District Court ruled in favor of the players Monday, the outlook for the 2011 season is still questionable. The day before what some consider the biggest night of his life, Heyward tweeted from his Twitter account, @camheyward, about his excitement for the day. “Day before Christmas!! only problem is there no way to sneak and see what I got for tomorrow lol,” Heyward tweeted at about 1 p.m. Wednesday. Heyward, who is rated No. 29 on Scout Inc.’s top 32, is projected by many draft analysts to be a late first-round pick. A dominating force on the Buckeyes’ defensive line, Heyward said he would be spending the draft weekend at his house in Atlanta. “I would like to just stay at home with my family. … I want to be around my family and friends that have helped me accomplish so much so far, and share the moment with them as well,” Heyward said March 30 after a workout. In his latest mock draft April 6, ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. projected that Heyward will be drafted by the New York Jets with the 30th pick in the first round. Heyward said he does not care which team drafts him. “Whatever team that takes me, I think I can play any position you put me at,” Heyward said March 30. The New York Jets have two former OSU players on their starting roster, wide reciever Santonio Holmes and center Nick Mangold. Mangold was drafted by the Jets in 2006, and Holmes, drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the same year, was acquired by the Jets through a trade with the Steelers in 2010. In 2008, the Jets drafted Vernon Gholston, also a former OSU defensive end. Many consider Gholston a major bust for the Jets. The Jets took Gholston with the sixth overall pick in the draft that year. Gholston was expected by many to start, but he rarely saw much playing time outside of special teams. In his three years on the team, Gholston recorded just 42 tackles and zero sacks, after which the Jets released him at the beginning of March. Heyward spoke about Gholston at the NFL combine. “We’re two totally different players. Vern, they had him dropping at linebacker. … Me, I can play all over the line,” Heyward said. “We are two different players. We had the privilege of going to The Ohio State, but we’re not the same player. I’m never going to compare myself to him, and I don’t think he’ll ever do the same.” NFL.com draft analyst Brian Baldinger projects that Heyward will not be available when the Jets’ 30th pick rolls around. Baldinger projects Heyward to be drafted by the New England Patriots with the 17th pick. The Patriots possess two picks in the first round of this year’s draft, and NFL.com draft analysts Steve Wyche and Pat Kirwan project Heyward will be selected by the Patriots with their second pick of the first round, 28th overall. Whichever team selects Heyward will be investing in a 6-foot-5 defensive force. Heyward has proven he has the ability to clog up the line and dominate against the run. In his four years at OSU, Heyward recorded 15.5 sacks and 37.5 tackles for loss. Weighing in at 295 pounds, Heyward will try to continue the legacy of his late father, former NFL running back Craig “Ironhead” Heyward. Cameron was present on the sidelines during OSU’s Spring Game on Saturday, and said he was excited for the draft. “(I’m) just waiting right now and continuing to work out,” he said, “and just looking to hear my name.” read more

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Commentary Ohio State mens basketballs affinity for defense keeping Final Four dreams

Hey, you! Yes, you, right there, Joe/Jane Buckeye fan. You go here because of the football team, right? I know, I know, we all do. It’s OK. School is secondary. And, let me guess, since you go to Ohio State because of Buckeye football, you probably have a special affinity for defense. Brutal, violent, aggressive, stingy defense. Beautiful defense. And, let me surmise, you look at the basketball team, with its inconsistent offense and those four losses and think: “Hey, it’s only, like, eight months until Urban Meyer unleashes his freshly non-bowl banned OSU football team on the rest of the country.” Stop it right now. It’s not August yet. It’s basketball season. It’s Big Ten basketball season. And your Buckeyes are playing a brand of basketball I know you can appreciate. They’re playing basketball with a football mentality. They’re playing brutal, violent, aggressive, stingy defense. Beautiful defense. Football defense. Jared Sullinger is gone. William Buford is gone. The Buckeyes’ elite offensive abilities are gone too, and it’s showing. Against elite teams, OSU’s offense has sputtered for long stretches. The Buckeyes have made 3-point shooting look as difficult as solving a Rubik’s cube in less than 30 seconds (if only junior guard Aaron Craft could do the former as well as the latter) and they lack a go-to second scorer (Craft? Sophomore forward LaQuinton Ross? Junior guard Lenzelle Smith Jr.? Brutus Buckeye?) behind the offensive genius that is junior forward Deshaun Thomas. Where would OSU be without Thomas? Hint: somewhere losing a lot of games by 20.5 points. But guess what? It doesn’t matter that OSU is trying to set offensive basketball back to the peach basket days of Dr. James Naismith, the game’s creator. The team’s defense is good. Like, Final Four good. Don’t give up on them. Craft is and has been the NCAA’s preeminent perimeter defender since he stepped on campus in 2010. He smothers guards. His scalp list the last three years reads like a “Who’s Who” of college basketball: Trey Burke, Jordan Taylor, Dion Waiters, Scoop Jardine, Tyshawn Taylor, Brandon Knight, Seth Curry, Erving Walker and the list goes on. Point blank, he’s OSU redshirt sophomore cornerback Bradley Roby in sneakers. His competitors know by pregame they’re going to wear a Craft coat for the next 40 minutes. Craft’s partner-in-crime, sophomore guard Shannon Scott, averages a hair under two steals per game and plays passing lanes like a seasoned veteran. Smith Jr., is a hulking 6-foot-4 menace who can physically overpower smaller foes. Sophomore forward Sam Thompson is a weak-side shot-blocking terror with staggering athleticism and a 476-foot vertical leap (approximately). If someone manages to penetrate the lane against OSU’s guards, 6-foot-11 sophomore center Amir Williams lurks in the paint ready to send any shot all the way back to his hometown in Detroit. Any way you slice it, the Buckeyes’ top-20 scoring defense (out of 345 teams) gives them a chance to win any game, despite the offense’s struggles. Hmmm, actually that sounds familiar. Wait, are we sure Jim Tressel isn’t coaching basketball? Don’t write off this season just yet. Sure, the offense might not be Sweet 16 worthy (or outside of Thomas, even RPAC worthy) but the defense is Final Four caliber. It might not be pretty, but the basketball Buckeyes are taking a page out of Woody Hayes’ playbook and embracing a new, defense-first identity. As football fans, it shouldn’t be hard for us to do the same. read more

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Ohio State womens volleyball splits weekend matches against Illinois and Northwestern

Senior outside hitter Kaitlyn Leary (11) gets set before a serve during a match against Illinois Nov. 22 at St. John Arena. OSU lost, 3-1.Credit: Tim Moody / Lantern reporterStill fighting to grasp a semblance of tournament life, the Ohio State women’s volleyball team picked up a much-needed win against Northwestern, after falling to Illinois one night before.The Buckeyes (17-13, 5-13) topped Northwestern (16-14, 8-10), 3-0, Saturday in a late-night match.First serve was pushed back from 7 to 8:30 p.m. because a 3:30 p.m. kickoff for Ohio State’s football team.Senior defensive specialist Julianne Mandolfo said her team came in knowing it needed at least one win over the weekend, and hoping to redeem themselves against the Wildcats.“(Northwestern) beat us when we went there and we were extremely frustrated,” she said of the Oct. 16 match. “So we came in here and we weren’t going to let them play with us.”OSU jumped out to a 20-14 lead in the first set and never looked back, eventually winning 25-16. Senior outside hitter Kaitlyn Leary led the way with 7 kills and just 1 error in the opening period.From there, the Buckeyes went up, 7-2, in the second before the Wildcats pushed back. The Scarlet and Gray were eventually able to pull out a 26-24 win.After that, OSU fell behind, 7-3, early in the third, but fought back to take a 12-11 lead. The Buckeyes eventually finished off the sweep, 25-18.“It was a great start to finish match,” coach Geoff Carlston said. “The kids did the game plan perfectly. It’s exactly how we drew it up, exactly how we wanted to play.”Leary posted 23 kills on the night to lead the way as the Buckeyes finished with a .298 attacking percentage as a team, compared to the Wildcats’ .148. Sophomore outside hitter Katie Mitchell added 10 kills while junior setter Taylor Sherwin had a match-high 46 assists.“(Sherwin) put me in really good situations with their setter being up,” Leary said. “She kept giving me the ball and setting me where I needed to be set.“She did a really good job this weekend.”The victory against Northwestern came on the heels of a Senior Night loss to No. 20 Illinois Friday. OSU came out playing well, but eventually fell 20-25 in the first set. The Buckeyes followed that up with a 25-17 victory in the second, but could not hold the momentum as they dropped the final two sets (21-25, 20-25).Leary led all players with 16 kills, finishing the match with a .324 attacking percentage, while freshman middle blocker Taylor Sandbothe and junior outside hitter Erin Sekinger each tallied 13 kills.Carlston employed a two-setter approach against Illinois, as Sherwin tallied 27 assists and freshman setter Maggie Heim added 23. Mandolfo led all players with 26 digs.After the match, OSU’s three , Leary, Mandolfo and libero Davionna DiSalvatore were honored during Senior Night festivities.Even though the team lost on Senior Night, Mandolfo said it felt good to get at least one win out of the weekend.The three seniors will have one more chance to play in St. John Arena, though. OSU is scheduled to wrap up its home schedule Wednesday against No. 2 Penn State. The Buckeyes are set to travel to Iowa City, Iowa, after their date with the Nittany Lions for their regular-season finale against Iowa Saturday. read more

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Ohio State womens basketball returns from abroad to face Pittsburgh

Freshman guard Kelsey Mitchell (3) drives the lane during a game against VCU on Nov. 23 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU won, 96-86.Credit: Nina Budieri / Lantern photographerComing off its trip to the Virgin Islands, the Ohio State women’s basketball team is set to return home on Wednesday to face Pittsburgh.The Buckeyes are 4-3 overall after going 2-1 in the Paradise Jam tournament last week. Freshman guard Asia Doss said she was satisfied with the team’s performance in the tournament but still sees room for improvement.“I think we all did pretty good,” Doss said. “We still have areas to get better, but I think we did well as a team.”Doss said one of the highlights of the trip came in the final game of the tournament against Florida Gulf Coast on Saturday. OSU made a comeback at the end of the second half and eventually won the game in double overtime.“The third game (against Florida Gulf Coast) I think showed that we can fight through adversity,” Doss said. “We all came together as a team.”The Buckeyes hope to take the experience from playing in the tournament and apply it on the court against Pittsburgh. Coach Kevin McGuff noted that OSU shares similarities with the Panthers.“They’re a little bit like us,” McGuff said. “They have some young kids so they have some up and down moments but I think they’re pretty good.”Heading into the game, freshman guard Kelsey Mitchell leads OSU in scoring, averaging 27 points per game, and was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week on Monday. McGuff praised Mitchell for her ability to adapt at the collegiate level.“She has really good instincts and feel for the game,” McGuff said. “I think that’s important because it’s a faster game in college than you’re used to, you’re seeing better defenses, so you have to have high IQ and good instincts to adjust quickly to that.”Another key for the Buckeyes will be the play of freshman forward Alexa Hart. Hart recorded a season-high 20 points and 18 rebounds in the win against Florida Gulf Coast. Mitchell, who played AAU basketball with Hart, said she and Hart are on the same page when on the court.“Our chemistry is really there,” Mitchell said. “When I know she’s playing and she’s ready to go, she’s ready to go.”The Buckeyes might be without redshirt-sophomore forward Kalpana Beach for the time being. Beach suffered a leg injury during the Paradise Jam tournament and is listed as day-to-day. McGuff said Beach didn’t suffer structural damage and her status for the game is unknown.Beach missed each of the past two seasons with ACL injuries.OSU is scheduled to play the Panthers at 7 p.m. at the Schottenstein Center. read more

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Football Looking ahead to Ohio States seasondefining matchup against Penn State

OSU then-freshman defensive end Nick Bosa (97) and other dejected Buckeyes return to the locker room after their 24-21 loss against Penn State on Oct. 22. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Former Photo EditorBoth No. 6 Ohio State (6-1, 4-0 Big Ten) and No. 2 Penn State (7-0, 4-0 Big Ten) will head to Ohio Stadium at 3:30 p.m. Saturday for their biggest respective challenges to date. With major playoff implications on the line, this matchup will be what defines the remainder of the season for both teams. Here is a preview of the upcoming game. Ohio State offense vs. Penn State defenseWhen most people think about Penn State, they immediately direct their attention to the offense led by Heisman hopeful running back Saquon Barkley and quarterback Trace McSorley. However, a major component of Penn State’s recent success has come in the form of its defense. To this point, the defensive efforts have largely been the product of one of the best secondaries in the nation. Led by two Thorpe Award semifinalists, safety Marcus Allen and cornerback Grant Haley, the Nittany Lions’ secondary is tied for the Big Ten lead with nine interceptions on the year while placing second in the conference with only 167.6 passing yards allowed per game. The defense has allowed only three passing touchdowns all season, none in the past two games. The Buckeyes might not find it much easier to run the ball against Penn State either as the Nittany Lions have allowed opponents an average of just 115.3 yards per game, 17th-fewest in the nation. With a stout defensive front led by defensive ends Shareef Miller and Shaka Toney, Penn State is fourth in the nation with an average of 8.4 tackles for loss and 3.4 sacks per game. Miller has contributed seven tackles for loss and three sacks while Toney has six tackles for loss and 3 1/2 sacks. Perhaps no one on the defensive side of the football stands out more than linebacker Jason Cabinda. The 6-foot-1, 234-pound senior paces the team in total tackles (53), has forced and recovered a fumble and has recorded four sacks and two tackles for loss.Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer spoke about how much of a challenge the defensive front presents Ohio State and did not originally single out any one player in particular, but he made sure to praise the standout linebacker of the Nittany Lions.“The one guy that steps up big time is [Cabinda],” Meyer said on the Big Ten coaches teleconference Tuesday. “You see him all over the place. But to say one D-lineman is better than the other, I can’t do that. I just think they’re well coached and go extremely hard.”This will be the most potent offense Penn State faces this season, but at the same time, this will be the most talented defense the Buckeyes have faced to this point. Ohio State is ranked No. 12 in passing offense (326.7 yards per game) and No. 18 in rushing offense (250.6 yards per game), and has seemed to be hitting its stride as of late, outscoring opponents 266-56 over its last five games. The Buckeyes’ passing attack is unlike those that Nittany Lions have faced this season. It is an offense that derives most of its success from shorter passes and relying on blocking rather than beating the defenders downfield. Still, neither the Penn State defense nor the Ohio State offense have been sufficiently tested this season, with the exception of Week 2 when the Buckeyes mustered only 16 points against Oklahoma. Ohio State defense vs. Penn State offensePenn State’s offense features so many potent weapons, it’s often tough to keep track of them all. Head coach James Franklin’s team has the nation’s best running back in Barkley, a mammoth tight end in Mike Gesicki, who creates all sorts of matchup issues, and a dual-threat quarterback in McSorley, who can make plays with his arm and his legs.Barkley has been a weapon for Penn State in all areas of the game. The junior running back has a passing touchdown, eight rushing touchdowns, three receiving touchdowns and returned a kickoff for a touchdown. He leads the nation in all-purpose yards with 1,478, as he is Penn State’s leading rusher, receiver and primary kickoff returner. Junior linebacker Jerome Baker, who could be asked to defend Barkley one-on-one in the passing game, said Barkley is a fun player to watch, and he is excited for the challenge of possibly stopping stop the Heisman favorite Saturday.“The dude’s a monster. He’s a good back. I just like watching him, honestly,” Baker said Tuesday. “Very excited to go against him because he can do it all. Pass block, run routes, he can definitely run the ball, jump over you, run through you. I’m excited.”Despite the big-name playmakers on the roster, Penn State’s offensive statistics don’t jump out on the page. The Nittany Lions average only 173.4 rushing yards per game (54th in the nation) and 289.9 passing yards per game (25th), both falling short of the numbers Ohio State has this season despite Penn State being heralded as one of the best offenses in the nation and Ohio State as one that has struggled. Overall, Ohio State is tied for the most points scored per game (47.3) while Penn State is only at 16th with 40. While some of that will likely be chalked up to strength of schedule, Ohio State has been ranked as the 15th-toughest schedule to date while Penn State is only at 18th, according to Team Rankings.The struggles for the offense have most likely come from the one surprising weak spot for the Nittany Lions: the offensive line. Entering the year with lofty expectations as a strong, veteran core of players, the group has not done an effective job protecting McSorley. The unit has allowed the 35th-most sacks per game in the nation (2.57) and has surrendered the sixth-most tackles for loss (8.14).This offensive line will be forced to step up in a big way against a defensive line that has turned offensive linemen into revolving doors all season long. Ohio State averages the 32nd-most sacks per game (2.57) and fifth-most tackles for loss (8.3). What should be an area of concern for Penn State is the fact the Buckeyes’ defensive line is fresh, coming off a bye week following five weeks where each starter was out before the fourth quarter. Not to mention enough depth to allow for essentially four starters at every position.Redshirt senior defensive end Tyquan Lewis said at this point in the season, he feels well-rested and ready for what will be his team’s most important game this season.“I think the most plays I’ve played all year, so far, well since Oklahoma, it’s probably like 30, 33, something like that,” Lewis said Tuesday. “It’s been kind of low since then. But it’s just you feel fresh, it’s a lot of reps off your body. Now it’s the meat of the season with a stretch, so now you know you have to play at least 50 plays.”Penn State’s offense will put up plenty of points, but the play up front could be what separates the Nittany Lions from a win and a loss. The team has plenty of playmakers who can burn the Buckeyes with the ball in their hands, but that will only happen if the line can protect McSorley and provide space for Barkley to break into the secondary. Ohio State’s secondary can be exploited and has been throughout the year when matched up against an above-average passing offense. But if McSorley is pressured in the pocket, it could be more challenging for him to get off the passes needed to beat Ohio State. In this case, the best passing defense might not come from Ohio State’s secondary, but rather on the defensive line. Predictions:Edward Sutelan: Penn State wins 27-24Colin Hass-Hill: Ohio State wins 45-31 read more

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Football JT Barretts path to the biggest win in his career

Ohio State redshirt senior quarterback J.T. Barrett (16) signals a first down in the fourth quarter of the B1G Championship game against Wisconsin on Dec. 2 in Lucas Oil Stadium. Ohio State won 27-21. Credit: James King II | Sports DirectorINDIANAPOLIS — Staring at a packed defensive line and an empty backfield, Ohio State’s drive hinged on J.T. Barrett. The situation: fourth-and-1 with seven minutes left on Wisconsin’s 13-yard line with Ohio State clinging to a narrow 24-21 lead.Barrett took the snap and rushed right into a defender behind the line of scrimmage. Wisconsin fans in the stands and players began to celebrate, but the play was not over. Barrett pushed on. Leaning on a knee that had surgery just six days ago, he spun free of the defender, bounced to the outside and willed himself to the first-down marker. “That was a very tough call. Offensive line wanted to go for it,” head coach Urban Meyer said. “But we’re up by three. If we do not, that gives them life. I’ve just been on the other side of that ball, all you need is a field goal to tie the game as opposed to you need a touchdown.”Barrett was not fully healthy. The knee that helped him spin out of the defender’s grasp had forced him to leave the team’s last game against Michigan with a knee injury and required surgery the following day. Ohio State redshirt senior quarterback J.T. Barrett (16) crashes in a touchdown in the second quarter of the B1G Championship game against Wisconsin on Dec. 2 in Lucas Oil Stadium. Ohio State won 27-21. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorSix days later, Barrett proved one healthy leg was all he needed to propel the No. 8 Buckeyes to the 27-21 victory in the Big Ten championship game against No. 4 Wisconsin. He finished 12-for-26 for 211 passing yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, while rushing 19 times for 60 yards for one touchdown.After the team’s win against Michigan last week, Barrett said he would be ready to start despite uncertainty expressed by Meyer. He made sure he stayed true to that statement.“I said I was going to play next week,” Barrett said Saturday. “So if I didn’t, I was kind of going to be a liar. And I wouldn’t lie.”Having the arthroscopic surgery the following day was not an option, the quarterback said. It was a requirement.“I really couldn’t straighten my leg out being my meniscus popped out,” Barrett said. “But I mean, it was just a small procedure, really. And then just a lot of treatment. A lot of time in the training room. Tried to do my best to get my mental reps through film and then out there on the field as well so I’d be able to play today.”Barrett spent a minimum of 15 hours with the training staff, Meyer estimated. Meyer said after the surgery, his return was a step-by-step process and that by Thursday, the team knew he would be ready to go. That itself was remarkable considering all he had been through. Meyer said only one other player had come back within a week from that similar surgery and played.But he said there was never any doubt in his mind Barrett would start.“How you keep him out of a game, I just don’t know how it happens,” Meyer said. Redshirt senior center Billy Price said during the week in an effort to alleviate some of the potential pressures put on Barrett’s injury, Barrett spent time watching tape rather than fully participating in the physical warmups of practice. Barrett added that it wasn’t until Friday, the morning the team left for Indianapolis, that he even had any practice running.Ohio State redshirt senior quarterback J.T. Barrett (16) dives for a first down in the fourth quarter of the B1G Championship game against Wisconsin on Dec. 2 in Lucas Oil Stadium. Ohio State won 27-21. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo Editor“I took about half the Thursday reps in practice. And I was mainly throwing the football. Didn’t run at all,” Barrett said. “And then yesterday before we took the bus ride here, I did a whole bunch of cutting and planting on my knee. And I had confidence in my ability to go out there. So it wasn’t like I was second-guessing at all.”When game time rolled around, the uncertainty over Barrett’s ability to start was not in question. But the players and coaches collectively held their breath whenever he would take a big hit.“Whenever he hits the ground, I want to be the first one over there to be, ‘Hey, are you OK? Everything good? Let’s get to the next play,’” Price said. “And I don’t like people hitting him anyway, so it’s an aspect of checking on your man. I mean that’s my dude.”Meyer knew he had backup quarterback Dwayne Haskins, who filled in admirably for Barrett last week against Michigan, at the ready should the need arise.It did not. Though Haskins was seen frequently warming up on the sideline, Barrett maintained his grip on the starting role from the opening snap until when he planted that injured knee on the ground in the victory formation in the game’s final seconds. It appeared early on that his injury was hampering his performance. The dual-threat quarterback appeared to wait in the pocket for receivers to be open down field far more often than normal and his speed appeared just a notch below normal.On his team’s first drive of the game, he escaped the pocket to the left for two yards before being tackled. However, there was plenty of open space and a healthy Barrett likely would have made it closer to, if not all the way, to the first-down marker.But he seemed to turn all questions around fast. In the quest for his first-ever Big Ten title at the helm, Barrett turned things around on his next drive. Junior wide receiver Terry McLaurin caught an 84-yard touchdown pass deep down the field and outran defenders for a touchdown. The next drive, Barrett found H-back Parris Campbell, who hauled in a short pass and took it to the house for the 57-yard score.Ohio State junior wide receiver Terry McLaurin (83) runs the ball in for a touchdown in the first quarter of the B1G Championship game against Wisconsin on Dec. 2 in Lucas Oil Stadium. Ohio State won 27-21. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo Editor“The open pass to start the game to Terry McLaurin was a great pass,” Meyer said. “We caught them in zero hold coverage and it was a big hit. And Parris came out the end of the other bubble. Whenever you play zero hold coverage, if you break your tackle you come out the other end.”Barrett had two other chances to hit wide-open receivers for additional scores in the second quarter when H-back K.J. Hill and wide receiver Johnnie Dixon both found themselves with space behind the Badgers’ defense. Twice, Barrett overshot his intended targets.“We left a lot of yardage on the field,” Meyer said. “We had some misfires in the throw game that were — guys were wide open. But I thought we adjusted fairly good against one of the top defenses in the country. Still had 450 yards of offense, but there was a lot of offense on the field.”Despite the mistakes Barrett made Saturday, he did enough for Ohio State to win the game. He was not the MVP of the game. But Ohio State had several moments when its offensive leader did exactly what was needed.Barrett wanted to start Saturday, but was dealing with an injury. So he willed himself to start. Barrett wanted the first down on that crucial play in the fourth quarter. So he willed himself to the first-down. Barrett wanted the Big Ten championship game. So he willed himself to win. read more

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Womens Hockey Ohio State rallies for win against St Cloud State

Ohio State freshman forward Emma Maltais (17) heads back out on the ice to start the second period of the game against Minnesota on Jan. 19. Ohio State won 3-2. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Managing Editor for DesignThe No. 4 Ohio State women’s hockey team (8-3, 4-1 WCHA) sent Buckeye fans home happy with the exciting come-from-behind win over the St. Cloud State Huskies (4-7, 2-5 WCHA).Senior forward Madison Field was the playmaker for the Buckeyes on Friday, scoring two goals and giving the Buckeyes the 3-2 win after being down for more than half the game. “Madison’s strong, her area of the ice is right there in that red zone, and that’s the majority of her goal scoring area,” said Ohio State head coach Nadine Muzerall. “That’s where we want her and that’s where we want her to have the puck. She just bears down and out-muscles people and buries it.” In the first period, the game was dominated by Ohio State throughout the first 10 minutes. The Buckeyes led the first period in shots on goal 18-6, and they were controlling the puck for the vast majority of playing time. However, momentum quickly turned in favor of the Huskies when senior forward Julia Tylke snuck one past Ohio State freshman goaltender Andrea Braendli in the first period to give St. Cloud State a 1-0 lead, assisted by sophomore defenseman Taylor Wemple and junior forward Kayla Friesen.“The first goal was our deep inch, and that was OK because we had a recovery from an offensive player,” Muzerall said. “We had a bad habit of swinging on two hands, she did a nice toe drag, and we had to be more disciplined with one hand on our stick. She faked the shot so Andrea went down and wasn’t able to her post in time as the girl wrapped it. Defensively, we should’ve cut her off and not even allowed her to come across.”Riding high off that goal, the Huskies won the next face off and immediately converted it into a second goal off a shot by freshman forward Jenniina Nylund to give them a 2-0 lead. “We lost a battle on the wall and we never should have exposed the middle there,” Muzerall said. “We got to stay in position defensively. They came in on a two on one and we should have had a better gap with our staggered defense in the defensive zone. It was a nice shot though, and Andrea has to do a better job of angling that puck.”The Buckeyes continued their aggressive attack in the second period and missed on several key opportunities. But just over halfway through the second period, it was sophomore forward Emma Maltais putting Ohio State on the board with her fifth goal of the season. “You’re not one of the best players in the WCHA and win player of the month for not being able to score those goals,” Muzerall said. “Sometimes the pressure comes with that, but that is what you need from your big dog and she got us on the board. That was a huge momentum shift for us because it finally just broke that ice of if we were going to score.”With time winding down in the second period at 18:42 into the second period, Field came through with her first goal of the night to tie the game up at two. Maltais and freshman defenseman Madison Bizal came away with assists on the play. Continuing its comeback, Ohio State took the lead for the first time of the night in the third period when Field scored her second goal of the game,her fifth goal on the season, as freshman forward Sara Saekkinen and sophomore forward Liz Scheppers recorded assists on the goal. “It’s always great to get those goals for the team,” Field said. “I think that it was a great team effort leading up to those goals. We had 45 shots on net, so it was just great to bury them. We always don’t want to self-doubt when we’re down in those games we just try and keep pushing.”The Huskies went on the offensive and removed their goalie for an extra attacker with two and a half minutes left to go in the game to try and force overtime, but the Ohio State defense and Braendli held strong to give Ohio State the win. Ohio State will go for the sweep of St. Cloud State in the second game of the weekend series on Saturday, Nov 2 at 3 p.m. read more

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